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Respiratory Therapist - Associate in Science (AS) (3920)

Are you a compassionate person with strong communication skills? Can you think quickly during an emergency? Do you enjoy working with high-tech equipment? If this is a solid description of you, consider the field of respiratory therapy.

As a respiratory therapist, you will assist physicians in the diagnosis, management and treatment of patients who suffer with cardiopulmonary disorders.

All students interested in this program must begin in the Pre-Health Professions Program. Then, students may apply for admission into this program once they meet the requirements to apply. Students will discuss these admission requirements as part of their advising process.

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After graduating with your Associate in Science (AS) in respiratory therapy, you will be ready to find a job as a registered respiratory therapist. You could work in:

  • Education
  • Home healthcare companies
  • Hospitals
  • Nursing homes
  • Physician’s offices
  • Rehabilitation centers
  • Sales

You may enjoy this program if you:

  • Have strong math and science skills
  • Are a compassionate person who is patient and has good communication skills
  • Can solve problems quickly in high-pressure situations
  • Enjoy working with people

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Our program prepares you to enter the workforce as a respiratory therapist. As such, you will be assisting physicians in the diagnosis, management and treatment of patients suffering from cardiopulmonary disorders. We offer this program in cooperation with:

  • Penn State Health System
  • UPMC Central PA Health System
  • Wellspan Health System
  • Lehigh Valley Health Network

By the time you graduate, you will be able to: 

  • Demonstrate proficiency as a respiratory therapist as described by the National Board for Respiratory Care
  • Assist physicians in the diagnosis, management and treatment of patients afflicted with cardiopulmonary disorders
  • Initiate and modify interventions on patients as a respiratory therapist. (Cognitive Domain)
  • Demonstrate technical proficiency in troubleshooting and quality control in all registered respiratory therapist skills. (Psychomotor Domain)
  • Demonstrate personal behaviors consistent with professional and employer expectations for the registered respiratory therapist (Affective Domain)
  • Develop skills, knowledge and awareness related to diversity in culture, global awareness and healthcare access issues related to global interdependence and the impact as global citizens

Our program is selective, which means there are entrance requirements that go beyond the standard application for admission into HACC. We encourage you to visit the health careers section of our website or email us for more information about these entrance requirements.

Additionally, you must:

  1. Complete the following items at your own expense before you can begin the clinical portion of this program:
    • Physical examination and immunizations
    • Background checks
    • Drug and alcohol screens
    • Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) certification
  2. Purchase uniforms, supplies, liability insurance and clinical parking fees
  3. Have the following:
  • Current American Heart Association Healthcare Provider BLS (CPR) certification
  • Current American Heart Association Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) certification
  • American Heart Association Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) certification
  • Professional development credits

To successfully maintain your eligibility and advance through this program, you need to earn a grade of C or higher for each HACC course you take. Before you start your second term, you must be a member of the American Association for Respiratory Care (AARC).

Our program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care. (Program #200296). CoARC accredits respiratory therapy education programs in the United States. To achieve this end, it utilizes an ‘outcomes based’ process. Programmatic outcomes are performance indicators that reflect the extent to which the educational goals of the program are achieved and by which program effectiveness is documented.



  • View summaries of every course at HACC by browsing our class schedules database.
  • Review our program guide (pdf) to view a list of required courses, recommended course sequencing and program competencies.

Yes! Although our Respiratory Therapist Program is designed to lead you directly to employment, opportunities are available for you to transfer your credits to a four-year school. Our programs are designed to be flexible enough to transfer to a wide variety of colleges and universities with no loss of credit. However, each individual college has its own unique program. We encourage you to select a four-year school as soon as possible. This will allow you to learn the transfer college’s program requirements so that you can take the proper courses at HACC.

Your transfer options include:

Saint Francis University - Francis Worldwide: Respiratory Therapist (A.S.) (pdf)
Thomas Jefferson University: Bachelor of Science in Respiratory Therapy (pdf)

You may complete 75% of this program at our Harrisburg Campus through various modalities (e.g., on-campus/in-person instruction, hybrid, synchronous remote instruction and/or asynchronous instruction).

Yes! Thanks to the HACC Foundation, scholarships are available. Please visit to learn how you can apply.



We offer courses in the spring, summer and fall. You can apply anytime by visiting our website. When enrolling into the Respiratory Therapist Program, you must first enroll into the Pre-Health Professions AS degree. Please use the program code 3150 on your application and then select the Respiratory Therapist concentration.       



Future students, we are excited to connect with you and answer your questions. Please choose the option that works best for you to meet with us.

Current HACC students, please contact our Advising Department with any questions.

“I love Commencement, when my students get their degree and I can welcome them as one of my colleagues in the field of respiratory therapy.” – Curtis Aumiller, M.S., MBA, RRT-NPS, RRT-ACCS, RP, program director and professor, Respiratory Therapist Program

“I chose to attend HACC because they were one of the select schools around me that offered a respiratory therapy program. I chose HACC because I knew I could get the degree I wanted in a timely manner. I heard so many positive remarks about the program that HACC offered. Going to HACC best suited my life and for all the reasons listed above I feel that I chose the best option for my education.” - Jerica, HACC Student